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DesertFox

The Morning Battle for Villers-Bocage and Hill 213

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I thought some of you might have interest in this topic. Available soon at "Der Kessel" and the "Scenario Depot".

- OPERATION PERCH I -

- The Morning Battle for Villers-Bocage and Hill 213 -

- 13th June 1944, 08:55-10:35 hours -

- south-west of CAEN

Type: German Assault (Historical)

Date: June 13th, 1944

Location: Villers-Bocage, south-west of CAEN, Normandy

Turns: 95

Weather: Overcast

Number of Battles: n.a.

Map Size: HUGE ! [3280 x 1520 metres]

Forces: British/German

Best played as: AXIS vs AI

PBEM: NOT TESTED!

Version number: 0.90b

Author: "The DesertFox"

Feedback: thedesertfox@gmx.net

Design decisions and a word of warning:

Lenght of the scenarios and introduction of reserves represent "real-time" as far as this is possible within the game´s limitations. All historical persons have been marked with "name****" as far as it was possible to establish from the sources cited.

As soon as Mapping Mission© will support CM:AK this series will also be released for the last incarnation of the CM-engine.

These scens have not been tested for balance but are meant to be a representation of the historical events as far as research allows. Nevertheless I hope you enjoy this recreation within the limitations of the game-engine.

Historical background:

This is Part I of a series of scenarios I created some time ago to depict the events of "Operation PERCH" (codenamed Operation Wild Oats).

The sequence of the complete series is:

Operation Perch I -

The Morning battle - Villers-Bocage - Hill 213 - 08:55-10:35, 13th June 1944

Operation Perch II -

The Afternoon Battle - Villers-Bocage - 13:00-15:00, 13th June 1944

Operation Perch III -

2nd Panzer Division arrives - Tracy-Bocage - 13th June 1944

Operation Perch IV -

The Battle of the Brigade Box - Amaye-sur-Seuilles - 14th June 1944

Operation Perch V -

The Withdrawal from the Brigade Box - Amaye-sur-Seuilles - 14th June 1944

"Operation PERCH" was planned by the british 21st Army Group and the British Second Army. A direct assault on Caen was ruled out as being too costly and difficult and thus "Operation PERCH" was born to inject some movement into the frontline by trying to outflank the stubborn german resistance around CAEN to the west.

Phase One began when the 22nd Armoured Brigade (Brig. Hinde), with 4th County of London Yeomanry "The Sharpshooters" (4thCLY-Lt.-Col.Cranley) supported by "A" Company 1st Rifle Brigade (1RB-Maj.Wright) in the lead, were ordered to capture the important road junction of Villers-Bocage and the high ground beyond (Point 213) on the morning of June 13th.

Lt.-Col.Cranley, had requested time to carry out a proper reconnaissance of the area as German armoured cars had been spotted observing the advance south from Tilly-sur-Seulles. Orders were, however, to push on regardless.

The Brigade orders were as follows [9]:

- 4thCLY capture and secure Point 213 northeast of Villers-Bocage

- 1/7th Queens capture and secure the exits from Villers-Bocage, except those west of the church

- 1stRB (without 2 Companies) capture and secure the remaining three exits from town

- 5thRTR capture and hold the high terrain around Maisoncelles-Pelvy (3 km southwest of Villers-Bocage

- 260th Anti-Tank Battery will close gap between 4thCLY and 5thRTR

Leaving the regimental HQ tanks at the top of the main street in Villers-Bocage, ‘A’ Squadron 4thCLY, was ordered forward to secure Point 213

about two km north-east up N175. On reaching Point 213, ‘A’ Squadron 4CLY (Maj. Scott) halted and Cranley ordered an "O-group" on top of Point

213.

Unknown to the British, the 2nd Company of heavy SS-Panzer-Abteilung 101 had just arrived in Normandy in the night 12th/13th June after a long road march from Paris which left only a few tanks servicable. The Company took up position south of the highway N175 along a sunken lane, the ancient route de Caen near Montbrocq, La Ciderie and Les Hauts Vents. Parked in sunken lanes or orchards at the slopes of Hill 213, hidden from aerial view and view from RN 175 the crews were resting and/or completing maintenance in the morning of June 13th.

Around 08:30 hours (british time - 07:30 for the germans), the British started to enter Villers-Bocage without resistance and received a warm welcome from the remaining inhabitants. After reaching Villers-Bocage, it took almost another half-hour for `A´Squadron to reach Point 213. Just as they began to arrive at the high ground, Lt. Bill Garnett came across a german staff car coming the other way [2]. This scenario begins at the moment when the Tiger of Michael Wittmann, the CO of 2nd Co. heavy-SS-PzAbt-101, after being alarmed by a guard, clears the slope of Hill 213 and spots the first British tank.

Sources:

The most recent, relevant and reliable sources about what happened back then are [1] and [2], however, as always, it doesn´t hurt to read a little bit more to piece together information and e.g. to seperate reliable [1,2,3,4] from not so reliable sources [14,15].

[1] Patrick Agte "Michael Wittmann und die Tiger der Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler", Deutsche Verlagsgesellschaft Rosenheim, ISBN: 3-920722-18-3, 2.Auflage 1995

[2] Daniel Taylor "Villers-Bocage through the lens", After the Battle Books, ISBN: 187006707X, 2nd Edition September 1999

[3] Georges Bernage "Les Panzers dans la bataille de Normandie" Edition Heimdal

[4] Wolfgang Schneider "Tigers in Combat II" Fedorowicz Publishing

[5] Patrick Delaforce "Churchill´s Desert Rats" Chancellor Press

[6] Helmut Ritgen "Westfront 1944" Motorbuch Verlag

[7] WO 171/856. War Diary 4th County of London Yeomanry, Public Record Office, Kew

[8] Michael Reynolds "Steel Inferno" Sarpedon Publishing

[9] Hubert Mayer "War diary of 12th SS Panzerdivision" Fedorowicz Publishing

[10] Eric Lefevre "Panzers in Normandy - Then and Now" After the Battle Books

[11] Jean Restain "Tiger I on the western front" Histoire & Collection

[12] Will Fey "Panzerkampf im Bild" VBG-Verlagsgesellschaft Berg mbH

[13] 1/25000 map 1513-O Series Bleue "Aunay-sur-Odon, Villers-Bocage" IGN

[14] Gary Simpson "Tiger Ace" Schiffer Military History

[15] Franz Kurowski "Panzer Aces" Ballantine Books

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